Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Traders want import cap on moong, urad

Lentils traders in India have demanded that New Delhi extend to moong and urad the import restrictions that now apply to tur, seeking to ensure sufficiently remunerative prices for the two varieties of pulses.
Urad and Moong  Exports Imports
Some traders believe that prices of urad and moong, already ruling much below the state-set levels, will further come under pressure if overseas supplies are allowed to continue.

The Commerce Ministry issued a notification on August 5, making changes in the import policy of tur (pigeon pea) by putting restriction of 2 lakh tonne in imports during a financial year.

The restrictions will apply until 2018. Although the trade still awaits clarification on transit cargo in the high seas and bound for Indian shores, it is also of the opinion that the move would protect local farmers.

"We welcome the decision of the government to restrict tur imports. This will help the farmers by supporting domestic prices," said Bimal Kothari, vice president, Indian Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA).

Almost all the tur that is produced in the world makes its way to India, which is the biggest consumer of tur dal. According to trade estimates, tur production in Africa is expected to be 6 lakh tonnes in 2017, while that in Myanmar about 2.5 lakh tonnes to 3 lakh tonnes.

Tur prices in Africa have plunged from $1,100 tonne in the previous year to about $335tonne at present. Traders have now demanded extension of import restrictions to other pulses and even to allow exports.

"However, the government should act well in time and extend the import restrictions to moong and urad, the harvest of which is just round the corner. As per official data, India is likely to harvest a bumper crop of both urad and moong," said Kothari.

The market rate of urad is about Rs 40/kg against MSP of Rs 54/kg, while market rate of moong is Rs 45/kg to Rs 50/kg against MSP of Rs 55.75/kg.

Despite government procurement, tur prices are still ruling at Rs 43/kg, much below the MSP of Rs 54.50/kg. Traders and millers have demanded timely action by the government for procurement operations of urad and moong. Chana is the only dal the prices of which are now above government support prices.

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